The Effects on Re‐offending of Custodial vs. Non‐custodial Sanctions: An Updated Systematic Review of the State of Knowledge
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This Campbell systematic review compares effects of custodial and non‐custodial sentences on re‐offending. The authors found 14 high‐quality studies, including three randomised controlled trials and two natural experiments. Imprisonment is no more effective than community‐based sanctions in reducing re‐offending. Despite this evidence, almost all societies across the world continue to use custodial sentences as the main crime control strategy. In terms of rehabilitation, short confinement is not better or worse than “alternative” solutions.